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IFC And Ecobank Partner On $140m Trade Finance Facility

TO promote trade and foster economic growth in Africa, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) announced Friday trade finance facilities totalling $140 million with seven Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) subsidiaries. These subsidiaries operate in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Malawi, Mali, and Togo.

The IFC’s $140 million trade finance guarantee facility aims to bolster the trade finance operations of the participating Ecobank affiliates. Leveraging ETI’s extensive footprint across Africa, this initiative is designed to help businesses in these countries develop new trade partnerships. Strengthening Africa’s trade lines is expected to reduce the continent’s reliance on imports and contribute significantly to economic development.

This initiative is part of IFC’s $1bn African Trade and Supply Chain Finance Programme (ATRI), which supports regional trade development across Africa. The announcement was made at the Africa CEO Forum, a gathering of business leaders, policymakers, and investors focused on discussing economic and social issues and opportunities on the continent, held in Kigali, Rwanda.


‘Our partnership with IFC is a testament to our strong relationship with an important and longstanding partner. Establishing the Global Trade Finance Program supports Ecobank’s goal to boost trade within Africa and help small and medium-sized businesses engage confidently in cross-border trade,’ said Alain Nkontchou, Chairman of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated. ‘By removing financial barriers, we will leverage Ecobank’s borderless payment platform and solutions to help businesses take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area single market.’

‘IFC’s renewed partnership with Ecobank Group will facilitate access to finance for businesses in Africa, support economic growth, and boost job creation,’ said Sérgio Pimenta, IFC’s Vice President for Africa. ‘Partnering with the Ecobank Group will enable IFC to support small businesses, many operating in environments where securing trade finance can be challenging.’

Under this partnership, IFC will also provide advisory services to Ecobank and its subsidiaries, focusing on enhancing support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and increasing access to finance for women-owned or run businesses.

IFC’s Global Trade Finance Programme (GTFP) enhances banks’ ability to deliver trade financing by offering risk mitigation in new or challenging markets where trade lines may be constrained. Since its inception, the program has issued guarantees worth more than $100bn globally. In the 2023 financial year alone, IFC issued $9.1bn in guarantees, with $3.5bn directed to Africa.

The partnership between IFC and Ecobank dates back to 1993 and has consistently supported trade, business growth, and entrepreneurship across the continent

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